I. After the FallTwo arms have I,two legs, two feet,two eyes to gazeon all I meet;two ears locatethe speaker's site,each side I knowas left or right.Inside, two chamberstake in blood,and two pump outthe crimson mud;two lungs, two kidneysin me nest,but on my ribslies just one breast.This isn't how Ilooked when born,but one was badand from me torn.It makes me sadto see me so,one side a breast,the other, no.But deep insideI am awarethis is a lessercross I bear.What is to comewill far worse bethan seeing thisasymmetry.II. Chemo and GouldI lie on my side like a shell on the beach,legs curl in a spiral, head bent to my knee,as I slumber, the tide slowly rises and fillsevery angle and curveevery corner and sac.The sea, Mother Ocean, with thick, turbid waters,will rob precious dust and leach salt from her daughter.The tide, now advancing, made bold by a tempestthat visits these waters in too frequent cycles,disturbing the nap of this storm weary traveler,testing her stance on a buffeted shore:approaching waves beat her,retreating waves drain and erode fleshwherever a portal they breach.The storm, like an enginewith deafening beat and cacophonous shriekingis bursting my head, laying blood at my feet.Through such madness and howling, I think I hear Glory:crystal percussion, delicious and light.I attend to this song and its rhythmic precision,forgetting the tempest, ignoring the storm.A song so seductive, expressive and lyricmade warm by the voice of the exquisite player.He sings from a shore where no hurricanes howland the Ocean is gentlewith warm tides to wash himand zephyrs to cool him.No storm surge, no blood pools,just sleep, plenteous sleep.To gain such surroundings would I join the minstrel.Were I to let go and flow out with the tide,would the storm lay me down on his safe, distant shore?So close, I can touch it, (my knee starts to buckle) so real I can see him.He studies my posture through cavernous eyes,awaiting my fall as his song beckons: rest!Exquisite musician, yousailing the heavens, Imust join your chaconne and travel the stars…but not now, dearest comfort, not yet, great companion.I'll stand and hold fast to each stick on the pier,and I'll shudder as gales tear the flesh from my soul.Yes, I'll stand in this place, and these storms I'll survive,for I, unlike you, will sound best when heard live.III. TransplantationFrozen seeds raised from slumber,in viscous suspensionthat causes its chalice of whiteto turn silver with sweating.Through mist, a hand reachesto force the cold slush through my heartwhere it thaws, giving lifeto omnipotent forbearers.Past lungs, neck and head, they swimhomeward to spawn. Some seedslost in the tumult. A few, preciousfew find the marrow bed.The icy elixir issearing my core; stench pervadesevery pore and it sickensthe angels who soothe me still.The vile juice conceals itsrescuing power: it ismy sole hope. This foul fuelfrom my past is my future.IV. ActsWho is this man?Whose hands once pressedA young and fragrant fleshTo coax its anxious passion forth,Now mop a tepid browAnd cradle a rank and bed-sore frame….Who is this child?Whose laughter ringsAcross the swamps, the hills and fields,And smiling image hoversAbove the unhappy indisposedTo bless the failing heart to strength…Who is this friend?Once dressed to playIn sharing give and take,Whose quiet vigil guards the weak,Who washes sanguine, soiled garb,While asking but a hand to keep…And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues As the Spirit gave them utterance. The multitude came together and were confounded Because that every man heard them speak in his own language .And they were all amazed, saying one to another, “What does this mean?” V. RestorationSnow is falling,beautiful snow,each flake unique and delicate.They gather, they stick,they grow in number.Winter's frostbared the earth,now her snowcaresses the land.Its rough places,smoothed,valleys quiltedin snow.Copious snow,storing promisethat thawing willnurture the Spring.Res miranda! Smug in my relativeleukocytosis,washed in joy and delight,I smile,I glow,I rest me content.Road windingbefore me,I'll travel tomorrow.Tonight's quietI savor.If intellect dwellsin the brain,if love is whatcomes from the heart,then it's strengththat grows inthe marrow.O magnum mysterium!
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Education| October 2011
Songs from the Edge
Anesthesiology October 2011, Vol. 115, 895–898.
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Annette G. Pashayan; Songs from the Edge. Anesthesiology 2011; 115:895–898 doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0b013e31821cf6fc
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